Women's basketball defeats #8 Williams
The Colby women’s basketball team started the new year with a very successful stretch of play, winning ten games and losing just three since the beginning of 2011. That success pushed the team’s record to 5-2 in the conference and 17-4 overall.
Among those wins were resounding victories against Salem State University and Castleton State College in the East Coast Athletic Conference Holiday Festival held at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Fla. A non-conference meeting with Bates College awaited the Mules upon their return north, which Colby lost 93-87 in overtime.
The team got its revenge, however, after wins against Thomas College and Husson College and a loss to Bowdoin College. On January 21, the Wildcats traveled to Waterville in hopes of sweeping the season series between the two rivals. Rachel Mack ’12 and Jules Kowalski ’11, however, had other ideas; both contributed double-doubles, combining their efforts for 38 points and an impressive 27 rebounds. The score was close throughout the game and the Mules took a one-point lead going into the half. Regulation play ended in a 69-69 tie. Diana Manduca ’13 put the team on her back in overtime, notching the most important two points of the game. With three seconds left in the third overtime period, Manduca hit a ten-foot jump shot to seal the home victory for the Mules.
Colby went on to defeat New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Tufts, 67-54. Kowalski was the high scorer for Colby in that game, totaling 13 points. She also grabbed 12 rebounds, recording yet another double-double.
After a 69-56 win against Regis College, Colby suffered its worst loss of the season, falling 82-60 at the hands of the second-ranked Amherst Lord Jeffs. Junior Jil Vaughan’s 18 points and 10 rebounds were not enough to propel the Mules to victory against the national powerhouse.
Colby rounded out their January schedule with a win against Trinity, and then kicked-off February with wins over the University of Southern Maine and Middlebury College.
This weekend, the team sought to prove how little rankings can matter. They succeeded, toppling the eighth-ranked Williams Ephs 85-71 on Saturday.
Colby took advantage of Williams’ suspect defense to put up big offensive numbers and give the reeling Ephs their second loss.
"We lost the game on the defensive end of the floor. You can't give up 85 points and win in this conference. Colby outplayed us in every aspect of the game today. To have a letdown on such a crucial day is frustrating," said Williams coach Pat Manning after the game. Mack led all scorers with 20 points in only 25 minutes of play and joined Kowalski (15), Manduca (18) and Aarika Ritchie ’12 (17) as a double-digit scorer. Kowalski also pulled down 11 rebounds in what was her and Karyn Adler’s ’11 senior game. As a team, the Mules out-rebounded the Ephs 41-32.
Bridgewater State College, Wesleyan University and Connecticut College remain on the Mules’ regular season schedule before postseason play begins.